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Tigers Fall, Give Away Division Title

October 1, 2006

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Tigers wasted a big chance to win the AL Central on Sunday, blowing a six-run lead and then watching All-Star starter Kenny Rogers lose in relief 10-8 to the Kansas City Royals in 12 innings.

The loss left the Tigers with the AL wild card, meaning manager Jim Leyland’s crew will open the playoffs Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium against New York.

Minnesota wound up as the Central champion, and will start the playoffs at home against Oakland. If the Tigers had won, they would’ve finished with an identical 96-66 record as the Twins _ and Detroit would’ve won the division crown because of its 11-8 mark against Minnesota.

The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the 11th, but Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson both struck out.

In the 12th, Esteban German’s RBI single and Emil Brown’s bases-loaded walk off Rogers (17-8) won it for the last-place Royals. Jimmy Gobble (4-6) was the winning pitcher.

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